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General Information

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The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original separate Library of Congress building. (The Library began in 1800 inside the U.S. Capitol.) The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981. Other facilities include the High Density Storage Facility (2002) at Fort Meade, Md., and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (2007) in Culpeper, Va.

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Collections

Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 171 million items includes more than 40 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 74 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.

Year 2020 at a Glance

In fiscal year 2020 (October 2019 to September 2020), the Library of Congress ...

Responded to more than 802,000 reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies, including the direct use of Congressional Research Service reports;

Welcomed more than 565,000 onsite visitors to its Capitol Hill campus and recorded 174.8 million visits and more than 805.1 million page views on the Library's web properties

Through the U.S. Copyright Office, issued more than 443,900 registrations and recorded more than 7,000 documents containing more than 233,600 titles;

Circulated nearly 20.3 million copies of braille, audio and large-print items to blind and print disabled patrons;

Circulated more than 359,700 physical items for use inside and outside the Library;

Performed 6.8 million preservation actions on items in the Library’s physical collections;

Recorded a total of 171,636,507 items in the collections:

  • more than 25 million cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
  • more than 15.5 million items in the nonclassified print collections, including books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports and other printed material
  • more than 131.1 million items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
    • 4.2 million audio materials (discs, tapes, talking books and other recorded formats)
    • 74.5 million manuscripts
    • 5.6 million maps
    • 17.4 million microforms
    • 1.9 million moving images
    • 8.2 million items of sheet music
    • 17.3 million visual materials
    • 2 million other items (including machine-readable items);

Employed 3,242 permanent staff members; and

Operated with a $719.4 million budget appropriation and the additional authority to spend $55.7 million in offsetting receipts.

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